Vinny Testaverde has hit the turf more times than he cares to think about, and his right calf is aching.
Still, he believes he can help the Jets' offense turn itself around. So does Coach Herman Edwards.
True to his word, Edwards avoided any prolonged controversy when he said yesterday that Testaverde would start Nov. 6 against San Diego, following the team's bye this week -- provided the veteran quarterback is healthy.
Testaverde strained his right calf Monday against Atlanta, but said yesterday he hopes to start running by the end of the week. The bye gives him more time to rest before taking the field again behind a shaky offensive line.
"It's over. It's done. It's Vinny," Edwards said. "Vinny's going to go for San Diego if he's well."
That Edwards is sticking with Testaverde rather than switching to Brooks Bollinger shows he believes the offensive problems are not all the quarterback's fault. Though quarterbacks account for 13 of the 22 fumbles the team has this season, most have been because of the offensive line.
Testaverde had three fumbles against Atlanta, and new center Pete Kendall took the blame for all of them. On the first, the two messed up the center exchange. On the next two, Kendall missed a block, allowing defenders a free shot at Testaverde.
* RAIDERS: Starting left guard Langston Walker had emergency surgery to repair a hemorrhage in his stomach. Walker complained of pain in his abdominal area Tuesday, then the team's training staff quickly got him to a doctor. The 6-foot-8, 345-pound lineman had an arthroscopic procedure later in the day and is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six weeks.
* GIANTS: Linebacker Barrett Green was placed on injured reserve. To fill Green's spot on the roster, New York signed defensive end Alonzo Jackson, a third-year pro out of Florida State who spent 2003 and 2004 with Pittsburgh and appeared in one game with Philadelphia this season.
* PATRIOTS: Linebacker Tedy Bruschi practiced again, two days after his first practice with contact in more than eight months since he had a mild stroke. Bruschi, saying he felt like he usually does the day after such practices, added Coach Bill Belichick will decide whether he will play Sunday night against the Bills.
"I'd like to get out there and see," Bruschi said. "But it's out of my control now. I'm back. I'm a player. I'm a member of the team. So I've trusted my coaches ever since I was in high school."
* BROWNS: Quarterback Trent Dilfer will start Sunday against winless Houston after getting the "benefit of the doubt" from Cleveland Coach Romeo Crennel.
Dilfer has had two straight poor performances for the Browns (2-4). On Sunday, Dilfer completed 10 of 19 passes for 73 yards and threw three interceptions in a 13-10 loss to the Detroit Lions. His quarterback rating was just 22.4.
* BILLS: Starter Mike Williams missed practice (sore left ankle) and backup Greg Jerman (sprained right ankle) is out, leaving Buffalo without its top two right tackles as it prepares for New England.
Williams is listed as questionable, while Jerman is out after spraining his right ankle in a 38-17 loss to Oakland on Sunday.
* LIONS: Cornerback Dre' Bly is expected to be out three to four weeks after having surgery yesterday on his right wrist.